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Lack of flat land means Volvo not coming to W.Va.

Charleston Gazette photo courtesy Volvo Cars A lack of flat land means West Virginia won’t be getting a $500-million Volvo Cars manufacturing facility.
Charleston Gazette photo courtesy Volvo Cars
A lack of flat land means West Virginia won’t be getting a $500-million Volvo Cars manufacturing facility.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Officials with Volvo Cars announced Monday that they will locate a $500 million manufacturing plant in the United States — but it won’t be coming to West Virginia.

State Department of Commerce spokeswoman Chelsea Ruby said Tuesday that West Virginia was knocked out of consideration early, because it could not provide a potential site location that met the company’s minimum requirement of 1,000 acres of flat land.

“We did not meet the initial specs on this one,” she said.

Ruby noted that, for comparison, the site for the $500 million manufacturing plant Proctor & Gamble is building in Berkeley County is about 500 acres, and Toyota’s engine and transmission plants in Putnam County occupy a 230-acre site.

Ruby said the state Development Office’s focus on the automobile industry has been to recruit companies that manufacture parts for vehicles, including Sogefi USA, Gestamp, and NGK Spark Plug, as opposed to full-fledged automobile assembly plants.

She said that could be an option with the Volvo plant, depending on what location is selected.

 “If it were close, we would have the potential to recruit some of the parts suppliers here,” she said.

Ruby said other key factors for Volvo’s site selection is availability of skilled auto workers, and proximity to ports for export of vehicles, requirements that also would have hurt West Virginia’s chances…

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